MILTON — For the second year Pine Terrace Baptist Church in conjunction with four local schools will help families and students have a merrier Christmas through The Giving Wall.
"This year we are helping 41 families and 167 children," Justin Gambrell said. Gambrell is the associate pastor at PTBC and has worked The Giving Wall project since it started.
The Giving Wall has ornament cards attached to it with a description of a boy, girl or family. The information also includes age, clothing and shoe sizes or a request for a specific item. Local school guidance counselors have identified the people on the cards as needing help during the holidays.
"We are going to sponsor these families," Gambrell said. "We try to stick to a two-toy item to one-clothes item ratio as far as the gifts are concerned."
Many of the visible ornaments showed requests for clothes and shoes — an occasional tablet and several requests with the word "toy." Once the church collects the gifts, the parents in sponsored families receive an invitation to a free dinner.
"It's our gift to them," Gambrell said. "The dinner gives the parents a chance to have some time to themselves away from the kids....It also allows us to share the love of Christ with them."
After dinner, parents can pick up their gifts and have them home in time for Christmas. Gambrell said that was only part of the holiday activities.
On Dec. 9, at 6 p.m. PTBC kids music presents "All About That Baby" at the worship center.
The Sounds of Christmas performance by the PTBC Choir is scheduled for Dec. 16, at 6 p.m. It is free to the public and childcare is provided for infants to five-years old.
Also on Dec. 16, from 8:45 to 11 a.m. is Breakfast In Bethlehem. Kids in third through fifth grade are welcomed to “Bethlehem." Bring a can or box of food for entry.
PTBC will have a candlelight service on Christmas Eve at 5 p.m. Gambrell calls it the highlight of the year.
Gambrell did not want to forget our neighbors to the east in the Panama City Beach area as they continue cleanup and rebuilding efforts after Hurricane Michael. The church continues to send teams out to the area on a weekly basis.